A Little Girl’s Gripping and Magical Story – 28


A little girl's gripping and magical story. Baykoy series.
Literary Fiction/Epistolary/Drama/Fantasy

A little girl's gripping and magical story. Baykoy series.

Baykoy and The Only Something

This is a gripping and magical tale of a little Filipino girl who goes by an endearing nickname, Baykoy.

The story is narrated through the heart-convulsing letters of a woman to her niece, detailing her extraordinary childhood experiences.

Written by

J.J. Ireneo


The Wicked Woods – Part Two


Part Three

Age: Six years old.

Year: 1985.

— indomitable —


Dear Sage,

“My god!” a young man’s voice blustered.

And…

… gasp!

My jaw dropped upon recognizing his face. I knew it was him. My heart knew it was him. And our good hearts responded to each other right away.

He smiled. “Inday?”

“Reynan!” I yelped.

“My god!” he said, panicking. “What are you doing here? What happened? Are you okay?”

“I fell from the guava tree,” I cried. “I can’t move well. It hurts.”

Magically, the revolting rain began to subside. The thunder had been silenced. The lightning had shied away.

He carefully picked me up. “I’ll take you home.”

He carried me in his arms, and I clasped around him tightly. Kuwago walked along beside us… quietly.

Like he understood something. Having a good friend.

“That’s Kuwago,” I told Reynan.

“He’s a good dog,” he replied.

“There’s two of them,” I said. “Kidlat and Kuwago. Kidlat is away, probably looking for help.”

He laughed. He got it. “I’m glad. Special memory.”

He told me he was on a bird hunt when the nasty weather caught him.

“I thought I’d never see you again,” I said. “I’ve been very sad, you know?”

“I’ve been feeling it,” he replied.

“You have?”

“Yeah. I always wanted to visit you in school, but I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea after all ‘cause it might weird your grandparents out. So I had no choice, but to think of you instead… and just hope that you’d be okay. It was all I could do.”

“Ooh really?”

He giggled. “It’s true.”

Also, magically, I could move my muscles and bones again. “How’s that possible?” I blurted.

“What is?” he asked.

“My bones are fine now.”

“Are you sure?”

“You can put me down, and we’ll see.”

He obeyed, and I shook the pain off. It made him laugh so hard. “You’re funny,” he said.

“Are we far from school?” I asked.

“Quite a bit,” he replied, then felt my forehead. “Inday, you better slurp down bowls of vegetable soup as soon as you get home ‘cause we don’t want you catching anything.”

“I’m not Inday,” I said. “I’m baykoy.”

“I like baykoy a lot better!” he giggled.

We walked on, and I noticed a fancy slingshot hanging down from his back pocket.

He showed it to me. I held it. “This is a beautiful slingshot,” I said.

“So tell me,” he said, “has anyone hurt you? What’s been making you sad?”

I told him about my brother, sitting in a funeral van, Angeline and the kids in school.

I told him about my grief, the disturbing spectacles and the sleepless nights.

I told him about wanting to see him again, so I would have a good friend.

I just couldn’t tell him about the enchanting spirit, the angels singing and my connection with heaven.

Then he said, “I’m sorry you had to go through all that. I could have been there… so I could show you… some magic.”

A real good friend is magic in itself.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

The magic that Reynan was referring to was his love for music. He said he couldn’t get himself to enjoy school as much as he would love to because he just wanted to sing.

So each time he would say he was up for bird hunting, he meant he was going for practice… into the woods.

The slingshot was just a weapon. Just in case he would come across ‘werebeast-like’ encounters.

He said he had been practicing hard lately because he wanted to go to the city to sing in a Radio Station Sunday Show.

But his folks wouldn’t approve of it.

He quit school to rebel against their wishes. It was why they made him work very hard on the farm and in the rice fields.

As a punishment.

It turned out, his family was quite well-off. They lived in the town center. He had to travel all the way to nearby towns just to escape.

He said he was a runaway.

He liked adventures.

He liked to sing all through his adventures.

And that someday… once he had saved up some money… he would travel all the way to the city by himself and audition for a regular spot in a Radio Station Sunday Show.

He said they gave out money and cool perks. But having a regular spot would already make his dream come true.

His only dream in the world.

Now I understood why grandma and grandpa couldn’t remember him.

Then he asked, “So what do you wanna be when you grow up?”

“I don’t know yet,” I replied. “But I like to read books and write letters.”

“I think you’re gonna be a writer.”

“Ooh really?”

The sun peeked in.

“It’s funny how weather plays around like that,” he said.

I wanted to tell him… it wasn’t exactly the weather. It was the angels.

“I think you can still do school and sing at the same time,” I said.

He laughed. “Why do you speak like an old fella, anyway?”

“I’m six,” I replied. “And I speak the way grandma and grandpa would speak to me. And my parents would also speak to me the same way. And all my aunties. And my grand aunties. And my great grandmother. And the elders in church.”

“So it’s a church thing?” he yelped.

“No,” I said. “It’s a family thing. I’ve figured we’ve got our own strict laws to obey. Like reading and language… and all that.”

“It’s pretty obvious,” he said. “I’m sorry if I couldn’t visit you.”

“It’s okay,” I sighed. “It’s Angeline’s funeral service tomorrow. So… I’m not sure about going, though. ‘Cause…”

“The cemetery is nearby the town center. You should go. I’ll come see you, so you won’t get sad that much.”

“Ooh really?”

We can lie about our deepest sadness.

It’s a human nature thing.

It will escape itself…

… by the power of a good friend.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

I asked Reynan to sing for me, but then…

… no!

It reminded me of Angeline all of a sudden. She sang for me by the waterfalls, and… !

No, it couldn’t be.

Grandma and grandpa would sing for me. So would the angels.

What made Angeline and Reynan different, anyway?

Something was awfully wrong.

“What’s wrong?” he wondered.

“Angeline sang for me,” I said, “and then she died the next day. I wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to you, so… I don’t want you to sing for me anymore.”

“Angeline and your brother died because they were chosen by God as the sacrifice to save the world,” he said.

“What?” I was confused.

“Before they died, something bad had already been foreseen to happen to places or to some special people who were meant to do great things. So every time this thing comes to God’s attention, then He chooses a sacrifice to save those places and the special people. It has nothing to do with singing at all.”

After Jiji died, a ruthless typhoon hit. We all survived. No one got hurt.

And then…

… there was me.

Was I one of the special people?

“Ooh really?” I moaned, feeling guilty.

“Yes!” he assured me. “If it’s something really, really bad, then God must choose the most virtuous ones. If it’s just something ordinary that no one would really care about, then He chooses the neutral souls. But if it’s something that makes him really mad that makes Him cry so bad, then He chooses those who have done terrible things. That’s what it’s all about.”

“Ooh really?” I sobbed.

“Why are you crying?” He felt my forehead. “Are you feeling sick?”

So then it was true what grandpa said about angels picking a good friend for me.

They didn’t betray me after all. I betrayed them instead.

And because I felt Reynan’s good heart, I believed him. With the special truth hidden in the angels’ singing.

Angeline was, indeed, my knowing clock.

Tick… tock… tick… tock…

Sting… sting… sting…

Was it good… or bad… magic?

The magic of heaven. The magic of life and death. The magic of real angels. The magic of enchanting spirits. The magic of good friends.

The magic of life beyond.

Then there was grief.

After a sacrifice had been chosen to save…

… what was supposedly one’s innocent bliss.

Tick… tock… tick… tock…

Sting… sting… sting…

“Reynan,” I cried, “you think I’ve got a good heart?”

“You wouldn’t be this sad if you didn’t,” he replied.

“Ooh really?” I gasped out of tears, surprised.

“Of course,” he replied, amused. “We need to hurry up now. You’re looking a bit pale.”

“I feel okay,” I said.

“Wanna hop on to my back? ‘Cause I think you’re coming down with something. I don’t like the look in your eyes.”

He was right. I was beginning to feel sick.

I wondered now… when would God choose me as a sacrifice?

Tick… tock… tick… tock…

Sting… sting… sting…

Our emotional strengths…

… determine our character.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Coughing. Sneezing. Still soaking wet.

Reynan whooshed up the slopes, with me on his back. Kuwago was also winging the speed along.

I couldn’t remember taking this way at all, though.

Was there a shortcut? Did we really go that far enough?

“Shortcut right here,” Reynan said. “That’s why the slopes are more steep, and it makes you feel more queasy.”

He was panting heavily.

He might look a little older and taller now, but he was delicate, and not as animated as the boys in school.

Chills were biting in. Even the soft gust would make me flutter.

He got more worried. He fought for more strength.

“We’re getting closer now,” he gasped.

My head started spinning. My breath felt warm. My skin couldn’t exchange blows with air.

I had never felt this sick before. Was this what dying felt like?

Barking called out from a distance, and Kuwago responded to it in an instant.

Swiftly followed by grandpa’s blaring voice, “Baykoy!”

“That’s grandpa and Kidlat,” I groaned.

“We’re right up here!” Reynan shouted back. “Shortcut trail! Closer to school!”

“Who’s there?” grandpa replied.

“I’ve got her!” Reynan exclaimed. “Hurry!”

I was losing my energy to clasp on. I just wanted to rest in bed now.

The spinning caught me sticking to the full moon. Gravity was losing its magical powers, too.

The full moon was falling.

The warm breath was like the scorching oven pit for roasting pigs.

The slaughtered animal was already on blaze.

The air blowing was hostile to the skin.

The invisible arms had already given up on its special existence.

Pitch dark. Muffled voices. Horrific hysteria.

Tick… tock… tick… tock…

Sting… sting… sting…

Where was I? Who was there? What was happening?

Where did my consciousness go? Was I still alive?

Jiji… Jiji… can you hear me?

Angeline… are you taking me away?

Life beyond. I needed your beauty and warmth. All the twinkles and all the bright colors.

Invisible arms. I needed you to cradle me again. All the magic and all the kindness.

Knowing clock, had my time come yet? Being a sacrifice for a special one today.

Would a loved one also sit in my funeral van? To peek into my peaceful and pale face, then remember me until the end of time.

Tick… tock… tick… tock…

Sting… sting… sting…

Was this what dying felt like? Or was I still alive?

Pitch dark. Muffled voices. Horrific hysteria.

Why? I was just waiting for the invisible arms to cradle me. The life beyond was wondrously beautiful as it should be.

Jiji… Jiji… Did I tell you I sat in your funeral van?

Angeline… Did God warn the angels that today was my run?

This magic was going to be fun.

Sickness makes us appreciate life more.

It has to come and get you like never before.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


Dear Sage,

Time and space. Colliding. Or agreeing?

Did the dogs and I run that fast? Did we beat the wind? How could we get that far? Was it really that far?

I could feel my feet crushing the ground, wrestling against the bushes and the shrubs along the way, trampling down fallen leaves and branches.

I could feel my body fighting its way up on the dewy guava tree. The grips were tenacious and steady.

I could feel my eyes blazing its magical powers into the snake’s raging pupils. ‘Aaahhh… Aaahhh… Aaahhh…’

Stillness.

Pitch dark. Muffled voices. Horrific hysteria.

My body felt like being wangled around. Were they taking me somewhere? Was my blood going to be removed? Would they keep it in a glass jar, so my mother would take it home as well?

Was this what dying felt like? Was I still alive?

Was I still in the wicked woods? Or had I already been saved?

The wicked woods. The revolting rain. The thunder. The lightning. The snake.

The bougainvillea. Rich pink. Like Angeline’s dress color in the dream.

The guava tree. Hostile and tricky. Like the kids who would keep their innocent bliss away from me.

Where was I? Where was I?

Pitch dark. Muffled voices. Horrific hysteria.

A wild commotion blew up. Was I pulling off another disturbing spectacle?

The kids’ frenzied voices broke in. Why were they still around?

It was pitch dark. Another sleepless night. Another restless night.

Panic. Alarming fears. God awful.

Dogs barking. Would they howl over me later on?

Why were some kids crying? Why were they praying?

Where was I? Was I still in the wicked woods? Was I in school? Was I home? Was I in bed?

Was I resting in a casket?

How could my consciousness still move like this?

This was not life beyond yet. I was sure of it.

Grandma and grandpa’s horrific hysteria. Reynan’s hysterical exclaims. Kids’ crying.

Invocation prayer. I didn’t need another invocation prayer.

Let me open my eyes. Let me move. Let me say something.

The full moon was spinning and falling. The breaths felt like the scorching oven pit for roasting pigs. The air was biting cold.

Sting… sting… sting…

Miyong’s pineapples were seething into my skin.

Miyong! Miyong was a good man! He was sick!

Had God just chosen me as the sacrifice?

Yes, I could have been the sacrifice.

Grandpa should go and check on him just to make sure.

Pitch dark. Where was I?

Muffled voices. Grandma and grandpa’s. Reynan’s. The kids’.

Horrific hysteria. Alarming fears. Another disturbing spectacle.

Was this what dying felt like? Would I still be alive?

The knowing clock. The death clock.

Oh, the wicked woods. It dared me. It called me.

The knowing clock had, indeed, made its prestige known.

The angels had, indeed, picked a good friend for me.

Jiji… Angeline…

Tell me, would someone sit in my funeral van?

Consciousness still lingers on…

… as near-death threatens to meet you at dawn.

The only something.

— Indomitable —


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